What If I go on holiday? What about my koi or goldfish?
Being a koi keeper does not mean that two weeks holiday in the sun each year is not allowed.
If it did then people would soon lose interest in their pond. Koi keepers maintain garden ponds and keep fish to relax, not as a means of saving money on holidays abroad. So how do pondkeepers go on holiday each year and manage to get away with it?
Time of the year.
If koi are really at the top of your priorities then it would be best to elect to take a holiday over winter, when pond activity is minimal and the koi require negligible care and attention.
However, most of us are far less logical than that and choose to take our annual break when a pond is most in need of our attention and when fish are at their most active - the summer.
A few simple steps can be taken before, during and after a vacation so that a pond and its inhabitants neednt know that youd deserted them for a fortnight in the sun.
Things to do before setting off.
A week or so before going away, give the mechanical side of the filter a good clean, rinsing foams, brushes and settlement chambers ensuring that the pump pre-filter is cleaned. If this is carried out a week or so before setting off then any potential changes in water quality that may result from this maintenance will have time to settle.
Use this time to dump 20-30% of the pond water and replace it with fresh water. This will dilute any build up of nitrates and also freshen up the pond reducing the likelihood of the fish becoming stressed on your vacation. If the pond is not fitted with an auto top-up then fill the pond to the brim. It is best to plan for 2 weeks of flag-cracking weather.
If blanketweed is a problem then remove as much as possible in the days preceding the holiday. If using a blanketweed killer then apply it a few weeks before leaving to manage any extra solid waste entering the filter.
Try not to be tempted to add any new acquisitions during this period up to the holiday to reduce the likelihood of problems occurring through the new additions. It is also wise to study the behaviour of your fish to be satisfied that there are no fish that look likely to develop problems while you are on holiday.
Unless the pond is already protected against heron attack, it would be wise to cover it securely with a net as 2 weeks or so will be tempting for a heron to spend long uninterrupted periods fishing at will.
There are 2 ways of approaching feeding while away.
Upon return from holiday.
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